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Football Offseason Hodge Podge


* There's most likely a new mustache joining Willy Robinson on the defensive side of the ball: former Tennessee assistant Steve Caldwell has apparently been hired as the new defensive line coach. An Arkansas native, but not a Hog fan (until now, I suppose), Caldwell coached under Phil Fulmer for 15 years. Read more about Caldwell.

* Caldwell will replace Kirk Botkin, who apparently had fallen out of favor with Bobby Petrino. In a classic case of PR doublespeak, the official announcement said he "resigned to pursue other career opportunities." Of course, Botkin himself told Robbie Neiswanger of that "I don't think you're ever excited about losing a job" and noted that Petrino had given him "no good reason" for the dismissal.

* In the interest of keeping my stress levels under control, I generally don't follow recruiting too closely until signing day. However, the snippets that I do read here and there are troubling...seems like the Hogs keep missing out on every big prospect they go after, especially on defense (and with all the help we need on that side, it has to be a pretty easy sales pitch). Just read this sobering post on TeamSpeedKills - as of now, one service ranks the Razorbacks' 2010 class last in the SEC, and another has us narrowly beating Vanderbilt. WTF?

* For what it's worth, both of Ryan Mallett's parents want him to stay in school (warning: link is to paid article). But, he's a big boy now and will make his own decision.

* And on a sad note, live mascot Tusk II passed away on Monday. At least he lived long enough to see Arkansas win a bowl game (although you have to wonder how much sitting in the bitter cold for several hours at said bowl game contributed to his demise).